Western Sydney University student and Campbelltown resident Sarah Abudareb has been named as the inaugural recipient of a $60,000 scholarship aimed at encouraging women’s participation in architecture.

First announced in February 2020, the scholarship was established to fund two years of study in the university’s Master of Architecture (Urban Transformation) program, which is taught in a small cohort of 25 candidates, with a year-long thesis a central part of the two-year course.

“I am so proud to be the first to receive this important scholarship – I really hope I am one of many women from Western Sydney University’s architecture program who will go on to change our region for the better,” said Abudareb.

Abudareb completed a Bachelor of Architecture and Environments at the University of Sydney between 2017 and 2019 and acted as a student mentor for first-year students in that course at the beginning of 2020.

She told media that she was inspired to pursue a career in architecture by the example of British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid. Abudareb is also from an Iraqi background.

Kerry London, dean of the School of Built Environment, said the scholarship was just one example of the transformative work the architecture program is undertaking in the region.

“I am so pleased that Sarah is our inaugural recipient, and I can’t wait to see what happens next as she continues to achieve,” she said.

The scholarship is funded by Frasers Property. Ranna Alkadamani, Frasers’ General Manager People and Culture, said the scholarship was an important initiative to help bring about gender equity in the industry.

“Supporting the women who will become the next leaders of the industry is vitally important,” she said.

“We all have a responsibility to encourage and foster talent and it’s particularly delightful to see this scholarship go to such a worthy recipient, Sarah Abudareb, for whom it will make a welcome difference.”

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